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  1. #1
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    Taking your cargo bike by train - Amtrak

    Hello friends-

    A few months ago I wanted to take my bike to Portland, checked out tickets on Amtrak and read that my bike was over the weight limit. Apparently I'm not the only person who has been stopped in their tracks (too hard to resist that one) by this regulation.

    Anyway, Travis at TRANSPORTland has sent a letter to Amtrak hoping to start conversation and maybe a trial period to see how Amtrak could adjust to coping with us cargo cyclists. If you would like to join the conversation and add your input, send in a message to Amtrak voicing your opinion or just see whats going on I invite you to visit the blogs listed below. Wouldn't it be awesome to travel with out bikes of all shapes and sizes!

    http://youaintgotjack.blogspot.com/2...-by-train.html

    Open Letter to Amtrak | TRANSPORT/LAND

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Thanks for this posting Lindsay. Not only the Mundo, but I also have a tandem I would like to carry on the KansasCity Chief between Flagstaff and Albuquerque.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by gumby_kevbo View Post
    Thanks for this posting Lindsay. Not only the Mundo, but I also have a tandem I would like to carry on the KansasCity Chief between Flagstaff and Albuquerque.
    Totally Kevbo- basically ANYONE with a bike that doesn't fit ordinary dimensions and/or exceeds the weight limit of 50lb does not meet their requirements. Sometimes they let these bikes on with no problem, but unfortunately it isn't something you can rely on. It would be nice if we could ask them to work with us a bit- leave your comments on either blog or on Amtrak's Facebook page. We're really hoping for even a promotional period to get the ball rolling- to see if it works for them and their passengers.

  4. #4
    kcp
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    It seems like a good idea...but since America is car centric it's not likely that Amtrak will make changes to fit a small, small minority of potential non-regular riders that want to take an unwieldy, over sized bicycle on their trains. But, good luck on your campaign - stranger things have happened.

  5. #5
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    Boy this is the shits.No train huh well now what is next???

  6. #6
    Down South Yooper
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    You should PM devo, I think he's had more luck getting onto trains with a dummy. I recall he was told no, but then allowed on at the platform anyway...

    Paging Devo...

    Plum
    This post is in 3B, three beers and it looks good eh!

  7. #7
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    Yes Devo has use Amtrak a few times you can ask him how he did it.But if I could not go all the way by my bike then I just would not go there is no where I can think of that I could get to by way of my bike even if it took longer than I may want to but it does piss me off to know some of us can not get ti put our bikes on Amtrak this parts sucks big time.if one person said no I would ask some other person a few days later never know.Let us know how it turns out.

  8. #8
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    Cargo Biker?

    What is this cargo bike phenomenon? Do you haul a lot of stuff?

  9. #9
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    I don't drive, so I do carry a lot of stuff on my bike, including my toddler and all his stuff. But, if we were traveling we'd obviously have quite a lot of stuff on the bikes too.

    Love the sarcastic commentary on this thread- such brilliant minds at work.

  10. #10
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    I just returned from a Albuquerque-Flagstaff & Return trip on Amtrak with my commuter bike. It is a 62cm frame and went into the box with the seatpost all the way down and the bars off and taped to the frame. The charge for the bike was only $5 each way, but the box cost $15. I was able to store the box at Kevbabe's sister's house in Flagstaff, so I didn't have to buy a second one for the return trip. The Amtrak bike boxes are a little bigger than new-bike boxes, so bike fits with both wheels on. You can use another box if you like, but it needs to be in fairly good condition. The Amtrak box allows you to pedal to the train station without having to transport a box. The $25 total cost to take the bike is less than I would have spent on parking a car at the train station for my 5 day trip, and I had the use of my bike for transport and recreation...money well spent.

    They allow tandems with two bike boxes telescoped together. I don't see why you couldn't do that with a cargo bike and call it a tandem. There is still a 50# weight limit. My Mundo is about as heavy as cargo bikes come, and I think I could make it no problem with the seat & seatpost, pedals, and rear H-rack bar as carry-on. You are supposed to leave both wheels on, (I presume to prevent fork from penetrating box and causing trouble) but they really didn't check. If you had a spare front hub, or rack clamp to install to "safe" the fork, you could probably take the front wheel in a wheel bag as a carry-on and save a few pounds if you needed to make weight. My Surly F&R nice racks fit with no problem width wise, but wider racks might be an issue.

    If you are going to pedal to station, make sure you test your pedals and tools before leaving home, and use some good ant-sieze compound to insure you can remove them at the train station. My right crank required a little attention from the fire wrench (propane torch) to break the pedal loose. Tip: A short piece of rope to tie a crank to the chain stay makes pedal removal much easier, it is cheap and doesn't weigh much.

    The Major problem with this "service" is that you can only board and disembark * at stations with checked baggage service. On the Southwest Chief, this is only about every 4th stop. That could easily add an extra 100 miles of pedaling to a mixed mode trip.



    5AM departure from Flagstaff was worth it for this sunrise:


    As nice as this photo is, it still doesn't do nature justice. Seeing it first hand was really moving.


    * A perfectly good word the conductors need to learn. "De-train" is like nails on a chalkboard!
    Last edited by gumby_kevbo; 04-27-2012 at 10:16 AM.

  11. #11
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    Thanks!

  12. #12
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    Well I will be flying with my Yuba Mundo and Boda Boda, then taking a train- gosh its going to be a challenge- with a toddler, a stroller, 6 suitcases....I shall report on my blog the challenge lol

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